Next Gen Class of 2006, 10 Years Later: Where Are They Now?

8:50 AM 11/11/2016

by Rebecca Ford

The No. 1 movie was 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest,' George W. Bush was president and Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion. Now a quintet from the class of '06 — including Team Downey's Susan Downey, CBS Entertainment's Glenn Geller and Anonymous Content's Michael Sugar — offer a career catchup.

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  • Susan Downey

    It's been a whirlwind decade for Downey, who produced hits like Sherlock Holmes before moving on from Silver Pictures in 2010 to form Team Downey, her production banner with husband Robert Downey Jr. They produced 2014 drama The Judge as their first feature and are developing several projects for film and TV. "Back then, I was focused on just the feature world," says Downey, a mother of two. "Now, material is not so bifurcated. I love the fact that now when we're interested in something, we just look for the best way to tell the story."

  • Zola Mashariki

    After 15 years at Fox Searchlight working on such films as The Last King of Scotland and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Mashariki made the leap to TV, joining BET in 2015. "The spectacle on TV used to be limited to movies," she says. "And all of a sudden, TV was pushing the boundaries of what you could do with character and visuals." Mashariki, who teaches a producing class at USC, oversees the network's original shows, including the new season of Being Mary Jane, Real Husbands of Hollywood and miniseries The New Edition Story and Madiba.

  • Glenn Geller

    CBS' golden boy, Geller began at the network in 2001. He ultimately rose to head of current programming before being handpicked by Leslie Moonves to replace Nina Tassler as entertainment president in 2015 — assuming creative control of the most watched network in America. "Where and how the audience consumes our content has expanded exponentially," says Geller of the changes of the past decade. "The 'where, what, when and how' will continue to evolve, but the 'why' will remain the same — to provide quality content to our audience."

  • Morgan Wandell

    Amazon Studios didn't even exist when Wandell was a Touchstone exec overseeing shows like Lost. In his three years at the behemoth's Hollywood outfit, he has watched viewers embrace streaming. "Not long ago, Hollywood was wondering how we could ever do that," recalls Wandell, who has moved to international after developing dramas like Bosch. How he makes TV has changed, too: "We think about things in a much more serialized way, and it has opened doors to more immersive storytelling."

  • Michael Sugar

    Sugar had just started at Anonymous Content when he made Next Gen. "Nobody really knew who I was," he says. "Getting on this list was really transformative for me." Since then, Sugar has become an industry force, nabbing a best picture Oscar for 2015's Spotlight and producing a slew of film and TV projects while repping such top-tier filmmakers as Steven Soderbergh and Cary Fukunaga. "The film industry has become harder," says Sugar, who welcomed a son two months ago. "There's been a bit of a reckoning. Bad behavior has become less tolerated."